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Role of Language 1. Nature and Development of Language 2. Structure of Language 3. Language and
Role of Language
1. Nature and Development of
Language
2.
Structure of Language
3.
Language and Culture
4.
Nonverbal Communication
Nature and Development of Language •Nature of Language-a symbolic system of sounds that when put together
Nature and Development of
Language
•Nature of Language-a symbolic system
of sounds that when put together a
certain way convey meaning.
•Some words have totally arbitrary
meaning.
–*i.e. Cow-doesn't have anything to do
with four-footed animal that gives milk.
Diversity of Language •Linguists estimate that approximately 6,000 discrete languages exist. •Examples: – Indo-European 150 languages.
Diversity of Language
•Linguists estimate that
approximately 6,000 discrete
languages exist.
•Examples:
– Indo-European 150 languages.
–Amerind over 600 languages
Indo-European
Indo-European
Amerind
Amerind
Communication- Human vs. Non-human •Open and Closed Systems –Open system-humans can put different sounds together to
Communication-
Human vs. Non-human
•Open and Closed Systems
–Open system-humans can put different
sounds together to make new meanings.
Infinite amount of messages.
–Closed system-when an animal cannot
combine elements of two or more calls
in order to develop a new call.
•Displacement
–human characteristic to convey
information about a thing or event that
is not immediately present.
Teaching non-human primates sign language. • Chimpanzees – http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/bios/main_bio. htm • Gorillas – http://www.koko.org/friends/index.html • Also,
Teaching non-human primates sign
language.
• Chimpanzees
– http://www.cwu.edu/~cwuchci/bios/main_bio.
htm
• Gorillas
– http://www.koko.org/friends/index.html
• Also, bonobos (pygmy chimps) computer
communication skills.
– http://www.gsu.edu/~wwwlrc/biographies/pbp
z.html
Development of Language •Early Hypotheses- – Egyptian pharaoh reared two infants without letting them hear any
Development of Language
•Early Hypotheses-
– Egyptian pharaoh reared two infants without
letting them hear any voices, figured they would
speak original language.
–King James IV of Scotland tried the same thing
and said thy spoke hebrew-go along with biblical
scholars.
–Swedish philospher of 17th century believed
otherwise. In the Garden of Eden-God spoke
Swedish, Adam and Eve spke Danish, and the
serpent spoke French.
Development of Language •Scientific hypotheses- –Human language requires that the larynx be farther down in the
Development of Language
•Scientific hypotheses-
–Human language requires that the
larynx be farther down in the throat
than other primates.
–Archaeologically this is hard to
preserve, muscle and cartilidge.
–Broca's area of the brain-sets speech
aparatus in motion.
Evolution of speech •Very gradual, but probably came with H. Erectus (ca. 1mya) for several reasons.
Evolution of speech
•Very gradual, but probably came with H.
Erectus (ca. 1mya) for several reasons.
–position of larynx assoc with flexion at
base of skull, skull with flat base assoc
with high larynx as in primates.
•Australopithecus-flat base, H. habilis
not enough evidence, H. erectus some
flexion, Archaic H. sapiens full
flexion.
Structure of Language •Building blocks of language-phonology and grammar. •Phonology-sounds of a language, individual sounds are
Structure of Language
•Building blocks of language-phonology and
grammar.
•Phonology-sounds of a language, individual
sounds are called phonemes.
•Grammar-rules unique to each language.
Governed by two aspects: Morphology and Syntax.
–Morphology-the combination of phonemes to form
meaningful units. These units are morphemes-the
smallest units of speech that convey meaning.
–Syntax-the principles guiding how these words are
arranged into phrases and sentences.
Language and Culture •Culture influences language-particularly with vocabularly, any language will emphasize important words. –Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
Language and Culture
•Culture influences language-particularly with
vocabularly, any language will emphasize important
words.
–Sapir-Whorf Hypothesis
•Sociolinguistics
–The study of how people speak to one another in any given
society. The relationship between language and social
structure.
–Diglossia
–Dialects

•Language influences culture-or even determines a culture, actually shapes our thoughts and perceptions.

Nonverbal Communication •Hand Gestures-we use them everyday, gesturing while we're talking or pointing. Some are cross-cultural,
Nonverbal Communication
•Hand Gestures-we use them everyday,
gesturing while we're talking or pointing.
Some are cross-cultural, others are not-
such as OK symbol.
•Eye Contact-varies from culture to culture.
U.S./Japan/Arabic groups
•Touching-Some cultures are high-touch, while
others are low-touch. High-touch=E.
Europeans, Jews, and Arabs. Low-touch=N.
Europeans such as Germans and Scandinavians.
American Gestures • COMMON GESTURES – Americans are a not touch (touch/not touch)oriented. – In normal
American Gestures
• COMMON GESTURES
– Americans are a not touch (touch/not touch)oriented.
– In normal social situations, Americans generally stand
about 30 inches apart from one another, which is also
considered their personal "comfort zone."
– At sporting events or the theater, Americans usually
slide into a crowded aisle while facing forward
(forward/the people).
RIGHT, WRONG, OR RUDE • Handshake - Although generally adopted around the world. Southeast Asians press
RIGHT, WRONG, OR RUDE
Handshake - Although generally adopted around the world. Southeast Asians press
together; Japanese bow; Middle Easterners and many Asians favor a gently grip.
DIRECT EYE CONTACT - Asians, Puerto Ricans, West Indians, African American,
Native Americans considered it to be rude, or disrespectful, or intimidating, or may
indicate sexual overtones.
WAVING - "No" to most Europeans. Europeans raise the arm and "Bob" the hand up and
down at the wrist."
BECKONING - Europeans and Asians raise the arm, palm facing down, and make a
scratching motion with fingers. In Australia and in Indonesia, curling the index finger is
used for beckoning animals.
"V" FOR VICTORY--In England, palm facing inward toward the face is an obscene
gesture.
THE O.K GESTURE--In France it means zero. In Japan it means money or coins. In
Brazil, Germany, and the former USSR., it is obscene gesture.
THUMBS UP --Also used for hitch-hiking in American. In Nigeria a rude gesture. In
Australia, if pumped up and down is an obscene gesture. In Germany and Japan, the
signal for "one."
WHISTLING--Throughout Europe, whistling at public events is a signal of disapproval,
even derision.
NODDING AND SHAKING HEAD--Opposite meaning in Bulgaria, parts of Greece,
Yugoslavia, Turkey, Iran, and Bengal.